Hastings High School receives donation in remembrance of alum

The Hastings High journalism program received 12 new MacBook computers made in the name of alum Deb Hardin Quirk, who was heavily involved in the program.
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 8:54 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Deb Hardin Quirk had a passion for serving the community, which continues to live on beyond her death earlier this year.

She graduated from Hastings High School in 1968 and despite being out of school for more than 50 years, her name will be remembered by a donation to the journalism program.

When she was a student, Quirk was heavy-involved in the Tiger Cub newspaper. Now the journalism program has received 12 new MacBook Air computers for students to use as a part of a donation in her legacy.

The program last year had seven students and has now more than doubled with 16 this year. In the last year the program has added a podcast and started making more social media reels to engage in more broadcast-like journalism.

Honey Lou Bonar, a longtime friend of the alum, says her companion is smiling down from heaven.

“She had such a vision for what a really good world could look like. She advocated for every student in the class,” Bonar said. “Her goal by the end of the school year, every student would have been listed in the newspaper and then the yearbook had that same desire.”

Bonar says this is a great way to carry her legacy throughout her alma mater.

“I think Deb would say you could have not honored me in a better way because she was always watching for ways to improve the present,” she said. “This is a gift that is going to take these students into a different level of journalism.”

Junior Jenna Ochsner says she has been waiting for this day since the news broke, because it will benefit the process of publishing stories.

“We posted on the Chromebook that our school gave us and it is kind of a long process, especially posting pictures,” Ochsner said. “There’s a lot of steps we have to take to post them on the website. Our Chromebook are a lot slower, the new computers will be a lot faster.”

Tiger Cub advisor Elizabeth Sorgenfrei has to go for a short period of time, but with the new equipment, some worries have washed away.

“We’ve been trying to figure out what we are going to do to post, because a sub can’t do that,” Sorgenfrei said. “We have been working with students on how that is going to work. This just allows me to go on maternity leave knowing they can do it by themselves.”

She says this act of kindness will be forever remembered in Deb’s name.